With Thanksgiving looming over us so are those anticipated and dreaded conversations about sobriety for those in recovery potentially directed from their friends, family, and loved ones. Although the pressure to appear and feel comfortable may feel overwhelming, hopefully these tips will help you survive Thanksgiving sober and have a good time.
Four tips to help you survive Thanksgiving sober:
1. Own up to your past
A lot of times what scares those in recovery about family or social gatherings is the thought that they will have to face others who have seen them at their worst when they were suffering from substance abuse. The pressure of having to see someone you may have hurt time and time again can feel insurmountable to deal with. However, you must remember that version of you was not really you. The person your friends and family knew was under the influence of substance abuse. Own your past and amend your mistakes. It may be a tad bit uncomfortable at first, some may not even be willing to understand but you are no longer that person. You are actively working to maintain your sobriety and fear of someone’s judgment should not hold you back.
2. Just say no!
As easy as this may seem we all know saying no especially to family can be hard. Unfortunately, in recovery, there is no room to spare the feelings of a loved one when it threatens your sobriety. No matter what the social occasion there may be a person determined to test your limits. Be prepared for that annoying guest who will continuously offer you a drink. No matter what always remain firm and decline.
If you are concerned that they may ask you why you are not drinking or even worse question if you are really clean remember this important point. You do not owe anyone an explanation. And your simple answer is because you don’t want to. Just like vegans have an alternative lifestyle so do you!
3. Have a preferred non-alcoholic drink in your hand
For those who struggle with saying no another easy way to get around guests tempting you to drink is to already have your own beverage in your hand. Have a non-alcoholic drink of choice with you at all times. If your cup is already full no one will ask you to drink because they see that you are already consuming something. This little trick keeps overly courteous hosts and guests away from offering you a drink.
4. Be social!
Again, many in recovery attend family or social functions with anxiety. And worry about how they’ll be judged, questioned, and treated. This is where your coping skills come into play. Instead of dwelling on the negatives of what the night may be try being social! Talk to as many family or friends as you can.
“Just like vegans have an alternative lifestyle so do you!”
Even if the conversation at the table leads to questions about your recovery and past share what you’ve learned. You’ve come a long way and shouldn’t be ashamed of your progress and hard work. Some people may be insensitive, overly curious or just plain rude but they could also be supportive, knowledgeable or kind. You won’t know unless you get out and be social!
The true meaning of Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving is a time to give thanks for the things you appreciate and love in your life. From friendships and loving family to sobriety and everything in-between! Take the time to appreciate your life instead of worrying about Thanksgiving.